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Eero Home WiFi System 2 review: Beacons make this system even easier to install

PCWorld

Thread is an up-and-coming wireless mesh network designed to connect devices such as thermostats, appliances, lighting, and smart entry locks in the home. Tap one of the icons representing the client devices on your network, and the app displays details such as how that device is connected (wired or wireless, and if wireless, which frequency band it's using and the strength of its connection); which Eero device it's connected to (an Eero beacon or the Eero router itself); the client's IP and MAC addresses; and more. The second-generation Eero Home WiFi System is attractively designed, easy to set up and use, and very capable. The Eero 2's $399 list price, however, is steep--especially when you can pick up the original, much faster Netgear Orbi Home WiFi system for $50 less.


Amazon's Echo has dropped to an all-time low of $130

PCWorld

The popular smart speaker is available right now for $130 instead of the usual sticker price of $180. The Echo is a great little device for smart home fans. It can control your smart home lights, thermostats, video camera systems, and other devices. Amazon and Best Buy's Echo deals are available for both the black and white versions of the smart speaker.


Ring Video Doorbell 2 updates Ring's original smart, wireless doorbell

PCWorld

Most smart home products sound great on paper but fail to deliver in real-life, which is what makes the original Ring Video Doorbell such a successful outlier. The basic Ring Video Doorbell concept remains the same: You hardwire the doorbell to your existing electricity feed, or opt to run the unit on internal battery power. Ring Video Doorbell 2 includes a removable battery, saving you the trouble of taking the entire doorbell inside to re-charge. Ring has also made the doorbell's internal battery removable.


Uber CEO resigns, leaving company in search of a new strategy

PCWorld

The company has already lost Kalanick's right-hand man, Senior Vice President of Business Emil Michael, following a number of gaffes including his suggestion that the company target a journalist who had been investigating the company. Uber recently laid off another key figure, Vice President of Technology Anthony Levandowski, who headed the company's self-driving vehicle efforts. As of Wednesday, it listed 124 vacancies in its advanced technology group and 310 additional engineering vacancies across the company, including roles in machine learning and in its artificial intelligence labs. With its plans to replace drivers with self-driving vehicles now receding into the distance, Uber is already making moves to make its drivers happier.


AMD launches its Epyc server chip to take on Intel in the data center

PCWorld

It's not just the folks at AMD who hope that that the company's Epyc server processor, officially launched Tuesday, will break Intel's stranglehold on the data-center chip market. Enterprise users, web hosting companies and hyperscale cloud providers all want competition and choice in server chips to curb costs and fuel innovation. At the high end, in approximately the $4,000 range, AMD internal benchmarks show the Epyc 7601 single-socket package offering 75 percent higher floating point performance (for spreadsheets, graphics and games, for instance) and 47 percent higher integer processing performance (for whole-number and text processing, for example) than Intel's E5-2699A v4. Interestingly, AMD benchmarks show 70 percent higher integer performance over Intel in the mid-range, $800 price point level, with the Epyc 7301 facing off against the Intel E5-7630.


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PCWorld

The European Commission wants to make it easier for lightweight drones to fly autonomously in European airspace -- with logistics, inspection services and agricultural businesses set to benefit. Simpler regulations will be welcomed by multinational businesses such as gas giant Engie, which is developing drones for tasks such as pipeline or building inspection or for cleaning the insulators on high-voltage overhead power lines. Other businesses, including some exhibiting at the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget this week, will see common rules as a way to simplify the development of drones and related services. While the drone air traffic control rules won't have much effect on its tethered drone, which is intended for inspecting the interiors of large industrial buildings, they could make life simpler for another drone it is developing to clean the insulators on overhead power lines.


Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Dimmer review: Smart lighting, plus a snazzy dimmer

PCWorld

Is the Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Dimmer the smartest light switch of all time? The Wemo Wi-Fi Smart Dimmer is an upgrade to the venerable Wemo Light Switch, but it does more than just add a dimmer to the package. A sleep timer lets you turn the light off automatically, and a scheduling system lets you automate the lights by time and day (or sync with sunrise and sunset). The Wemo app lets you establish lighting schedules, control other Wemo devices, and more.


How to search Google: 10 advanced tips and tricks

PCWorld

This perpetual state of change is most noticeable in Chrome, where Google can integrate search capabilities with its own browser. Google can offer a little help at finding similar sites. If you type "related:searchterm" into the search bar, Google will look for similar websites. Google's Knowledge Graph is one of the tools the search giant uses to give you information related to a desktop search.


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PCWorld

If the bulb is dimmable, the Socket can control lighting intensity, too. The Socket can also be controlled with voice commands via Amazon's Alexa (Amazon Echo) and Google's Assistant (Google Home). You can set the hue, saturation, and brightness of the ring through the iDevices app. The Socket's LED color ring is the real defining characteristic and differentiation, since Philips can only do light and color at the same time in a single bulb.


Imagination adds safety, resilience to processor for IoT

PCWorld

Chip designers such as ARM and Imagination Technologies are applying industrial safety design techniques to their processor cores so that they can get themselves out of situations like this. The standards describe how to incorporate such components -- known as safety elements out of context (SEooCs) -- into functionally safe systems, and companies such as ARM and Imagination Technologies are applying them to their processor cores designs. Mobileye uses MIPS cores in the EyeQ 4 system-on-chip (SoC) devices it develops for auto manufacturers to provide automated driver assistance systems such as lane keeping or adaptive cruise control. Last year, it said it would use Imagination's MIPS I6500 core in its EyeQ 5 SoCs intended to support autonomous driving.